Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried
Ryan Dailey / WFSU

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried wants the state to be more open about how it plans to spend federal stimulus money received because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday, Fried requested a full accounting of federal “CARES Act” money the state has received so it can be discussed at a scheduled Sept. 22 Cabinet meeting.

Of the $175 billion in federal CARES Act funding for hospitals that serve the nation's poorest people, about $50 billion has yet to be allocated.

Those who represent Florida's safety net hospitals - charged with caring for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay - say they are counting on a greater share of that funding if they are to stay afloat. 

The Florida Ports Council is asking Congress for $3.5 billion in aid to help U.S. seaports and maritime businesses recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic as talks continue on an economic-stimulus package.

Miami-Dade is nearly tripling a planned allocation of federal CARES Act money for local cities in an effort to defuse a public, bitter fight over the dollars that went to the county but not municipalities.

County commissioners on Tuesday voted to reserve $100 million for city expenses and relief programs from the $474 million Miami-Dade received from Florida through the federal legislation passed in March. The administration of Mayor Carlos Gimenez had previously proposed giving $30 million to cities.

Hendry County residents and businesses that have been directly affected by COVID-19 can apply for financial assistance through HendryCares starting August 3rd.

The county received $7.5 million in federal funds from the CARES Act, and $1.8 has been set aside to help pay past-due utility, lease and mortgage bills of Hendry-based businesses and residents.

child at doctor's office getting a bandaid

A deadline to apply for additional funds has been extended to Aug. 28 for health care providers who take part in Medicaid and the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program.

The money is part of an effort by the federal government to provide assistance to medical providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Safety Net Hospitals Seek ‘Fair Share’ Of Federal Money

Aug 3, 2020
Tampa General Hospital

Congress, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, set aside $13 billion to help safety-net hospitals that treat a majority of poor, elderly and disabled patients.

But some of Florida’s largest safety-net hospitals - including Jackson Memorial, UF Health Shands and Tampa General - didn’t qualify for the funding included in a federal-stimulus bill known as the CARES Act, while seeing their finances deteriorate as they shifted from providing “elective” surgeries and procedures to dealing with coronavirus cases.

Miami-Dade cities may sue for a larger share of a $474 million pool of federal COVID relief dollars that county commissioners have been racing to allocate to charities, businesses and residents across the county.

The administration of Mayor Carlos Gimenez this month slashed a planned $135 million allocation to cities to just $30 million, inflaming an already tense stand-off over how much of the federal CARES Act should be spent at the municipal level and how much should be distributed by Miami-Dade.

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET

After days of delays, congressional Republicans rolled out their proposal for a fifth wave of pandemic relief aid on Monday, setting the stage for a showdown with Democrats, who say the two sides remain far apart.

The plan, which was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., focuses on new funding for schools and a new round of payments to Americans and allows for some additional wage replacement for unemployed workers.


The Florida Department of Health announced Thursday that it is sending $138 million in federal pandemic funds to county health departments to hire epidemiologists, nurses and contact tracers.

Alachua Board of County Commissioners

Alachua County will disburse $46.9 million in CARES Act funds for COVID-19 relief, and according to a new budget plan, property taxes in the county could soon be lowered, too.

During a board of county commissioners special meeting Tuesday, Alachua County Manager Michele Lieberman unveiled disbursement plans for the county’s COVID-19 relief funds and a tentative budget plan for the fiscal year 2021, which starts Oct. 1.

Several Democratic-led states and the District of Columbia have joined in a lawsuit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, accusing the Trump administration of trying to unlawfully divert pandemic relief funds from public schools to private schools.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Michigan, Maine, New Mexico and Wisconsin have also joined.

Manatee County Commissioners in June approved a plan to provide millions of dollars in federal money for businesses and organizations hit hardest by the coronavirus. 

The first phase of funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security -- or CARES Act --  is arriving through the State of Florida.

Initially, Jacksonville city officials thought they received $159 million in Federal CARES Act funding. 

Despite the huge outbreaks of COVID-19 in nursing homes, the federal agency that regulates them has failed to distribute much of the money it received under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, according to two members of Congress.

 Gov. Ron DeSantis

More than two months after Florida received the money, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that the state will start to release nearly $1.3 billion in federal funds to cash-strapped counties struggling amid a recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Updated at 4:12 p.m. ET

The Federal Reserve left interest rates near zero Wednesday and once again promised to deliver whatever monetary medicine it can to an economy that's badly ailing from the coronavirus pandemic.

"The Federal Reserve is committed to using its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time," the central bank said in a statement.

3,300 Apply, But Problems Persist With Orange Co. CARES Act Portal

Jun 10, 2020
The website was overwhelmed with applications for the second day in a row.

More than 50,000 Orange County residents have logged onto a county portal to apply for a one-time, $1,000 dollar CARES ACT grant.

Manatee County residents who have lost their jobs or significant income because of the coronavirus can apply for help to pay rent, mortgage and utilities bills.

The county says there was an “overwhelming response” and the web portal hit its 2,000-applicant capacity within minutes.

Fewer than 2,000 Orange County residents were able to apply for a one-time grant through the CARES Act Monday morning. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said how states deal with the aid will help determine how much more federal money they might receive in the future.

Most states are taking their time spending the coronavirus relief aid Congress sent them earlier this spring, even as they push for more federal help.

Lee County officials are investing $57.5 million of federal CARES Act money to provide financial relief to local residents and small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The LeeCares initiative aims to get federal relief funds into the hands of those who have been affected financially by business closures resulting from the pandemic.

Non-profit think-tank the Florida Policy Institute, which describes itself as non-partisan, is warning state leadership that money earmarked for Florida through the federal CARES act won’t cover state budgetary shortfalls.